Adult manAs an adult man, it is of course important you eat a healthy, varied diet both for good health and to help reduce your risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers that tend to become more common as you get older. A healthy, varied diet is based on starchy foods, such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice, some protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs and pulses, some milk and dairy foods and plenty of fruit and vegetables. For a healthy varied diet, aim to do the following:

Top tips for a healthy balanced diet

  • Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day. It is important to include a variety as they all contain different nutrients and benefits. These can be fresh, frozen, canned or dried or even a glass of fruit juice (for portion sizes see page 2).
  • Eat more starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and cereals. These should be the base of most meals and make up a third of your diet.
  • Cut down on foods which are high in saturated fat. Choose lower fat options such as semi-skimmed or 1% milk or reduced-fat cheese. Choose lean meat and trim off any fat and skin.
  • Eat more pulses such as beans, peas and lentils.
  • Try to eat fish at least twice a week and include one portion of oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines or trout.
  • Whenever possible grill, bake, poach, steam, boil or microwave your food. These are healthier ways to cook compared to frying or roasting in fat.
  • Try to eat high fat/sugar foods only occasionally e.g. fried chips, sweets, crisps or pastries
  • Reduce the amount of salt in your diet and use less salt in cooking.
  • If you drink, do it in moderation. In 2016, the Department of Health updated the guidelines for alcohol consumption and the recommendation for men has been reduced from no more than 21 units of alcohol per week to no more than 14 units, the same level as for women. If you do drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this evenly over three days or more (rather than having one or two heavy drinking sessions). As a guide, a pint of strong lager or a large glass of wine contains 3 units, and a large single shot of spirits (35ml) contains 1.5 units.
  • Keep hydrated. Try to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid a day. For more on hydration, click here